On the long list of teams that were overlooked, and written off in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, the San Diego State Aztecs may be camped out alone on top of the page. They now run into the Cinderella story that is the Florida Atlantic Owls, who have knocked off Memphis, Tennessee and Kansas State in the East Region. Unfortunately, the road will soon end for one of these two historic teams. Here has been the path of the Aztecs.
The Charleston Cougars gave SDSU the opening-round jitters. The hustle and grainy play of the Cougars kept the game close until the final buzzer, but the Aztecs showed their offense to hold on for a 63-57 win — thanks in large part to senior guard Matt Bradley’s 17 points and two clutch free throws to ice the game.
Round of 32
SDSU was ready to run in Game 2. They attacked the basket and punished the suave Furman Paladins with a steady dose of fastbreak points. The Aztecs were unfazed by the Paladins’ Round 1 upset of No. 4 Virginia, and quickly took control of this one by halftime. On to the next.
The Aztecs have rolled along to an eight-game winning streak, and it’s all due to their deep and versatile roster. It appears to be all a matter of gameplan with this team. They have won games with an explosive offense, and have taken a step back and played at a glacial pace to let their defense do the talking. Which indeed spoke volumes in the huge upset against the No. 1 overall Alabama Crimson Tide.
The Aztecs defeated No. 6 Creighton 57-56 in the Elite Eight last Sunday.